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Everest Base Camp Facts

August,18 2018 BY Lobsang Tsering 0 COMMENTS

Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, is a total epitome of beauty itself. Standing tall at an altitude of 8848 m, the peak has been an emblem of the continent of Asia. The Mount Everest can be reached both from Nepal and Tibet. In Nepal, it is known as Sagarmatha whereas, in Tibet, it is called by an interesting local name, Chomolungma. The way to Mount Everest is one of the most sought-after hiking routes in the whole of the world. The route is not very easy to scale and also there are some fatal risks embedded in it. In this article, we are going to give in thorough details regarding the route to scale Mount Everest. Also, there will be lots of other important details and tips about the journey.

The Mount Everest Base camps are the two camping areas at the foot of Mount Everest. It is the utmost limit that any trekker can reach. The reaching to the peak of the loftiest mountain, however, requires experienced and efficient mountaineers. There are mainly two base camps located near Mount Everest. They are the North Base Camp and the South Base Camp.

North and South Base Camp

As has already been said, there are two base camps present at the foot of the loftiest mountain in the world. They are mainly the North Base Camp and the South Base Camp. These two base camps are located exactly in the opposite directions and they pertain to the two regions from where Everest can be accessed. These two regions are namely Tibet and Nepal. While the North Base Camp is for the trekkers reaching Everest from Tibet, the South Base Camp is for trekkers reaching Everest from Nepal.

location of nepal tibet and mount everest(Simple click to enlarge the map)
Mt. Everest Nepal Tibet Map

The North Base Camp can be reached via the Friendship Highway that branch in the south at the point of Shelkar. The road is 100km long and after that either you have to take the bus arranged for taking the tourists to the base camp. Or if you are indulged in serious trekking then from Shigatse in Tibet, you have to make your journey to EBC via Tingri, Sakya and finally arrive at Rongbuk Monastery. From Rongbuk, it takes hardly two to three hours to drive to Everest Base Camp, also because of the new road that has been invented. From Shigatse, the total distance of Everest Base Camp is about 337 km. This means that you can directly take a bus from Shelkar to reach Everest Base Camp or you can trek from Shigatse via Tingri, Sakya, and Rongbuk and reach EBC. The EBC trekking in Tibet offers more toils but the tour experience will be out of the world experience of your life.

The South Base Camp of Mount Everest is located in Nepal and people trekking from Nepal will get the chance to access that base camp. This base camp is nearer to Lukla in Nepal and hence trekking usually begins from Lukla. Trekkers fly here from Kathmandu to save energy and time. However trekking to Lukla is also possible but that will take too much of time. The basic itinerary of the Everest Base Camp trek from Lukla is trekking from Lukla to Namche Bazaar along the Valley of Dudh Kosi River. After taking adequate rest, the trekkers then trek to Dingboche and the span of trekking is two days. Following that, they trek to Everest Base Camp via Gorashep. It takes about six to seven hours to reach Everest Base Camp from Dingboche. However, after the 2015 earthquake, the majority of the road leading to the South Base Camp has been destroyed. Also, the base camp also underwent huge destructions and many people were even killed during the fatal earthquake.

How High Is Everest Base Camp in Tibet and Nepal?

The North Base Camp, located in the Tibet Autonomous Region has an elevation of about 5200m. This extreme height of the base camp triggers altitude sickness and also snow bites amongst the trekkers. However, to combat these problems, you have to be very careful and take enough precautions like wearing proper woolen clothes and along with it putting enough of sunscreens and moisturizers to prevent the skin from getting chapped. Also, proper hiking shoes are very necessary to withstand the slippery roads. As for the altitude sickness, all you have to do is to take rest at each location for more than one day so that the change in altitude is gradual and does not affect the body. Keep all types of medicines along with you.

Taking photo at North Base Camp in TibetTaking photo at North Base Camp in Tibet

From the North Base Camp of Mount Everest, you will get to behold the North Face of Mount Everest. Also if you are not a professional climber, you will get to see the area of the specially restricted climbers’ area. Also, there is a teahouse located at the base camp. Mainly the view around the North base Camp constitutes of the trans-Himalayan ranges with their snow-clad peaks and the blue sky.

The South Base Camp, located in the province of Nepal is about 5363m high, which is even higher than the base camp altitude of Tibet. Hence more precautions are required to be taken during this time. You have to be very careful regarding the change of the temperature and cloth accordingly. Also, do not keep your stomach empty and have as much carbohydrate and calorie-rich food as possible. Keep as many woolen clothes as possible and keep your body parts covered to prevent the cold allergies. Also wear sunglass, sunscreens and other such ointments during the daytime. In case you get blisters due to the cold, apply ointments gently and do not burst them.

From the South Base Camp, you will get a very beautiful view of Sagarmatha National Park. Also you will get the sight of other trans-Himalayan ranges from the base camp area. Moreover you will get the beautiful sight of Kumbhu Icefall to the right of the base camp area. Except for these, you will only behold Everest and its peak and not much from the South Everest Base Camp.

How to Plan an Everest Base Camp Tour in Nepal and Tibet?

Travel Documents

In case you are traveling to the North Base Camp in Tibet, you need to have :
• Chinese Tourist Visa.
• Tibet Travel Permit.
• Alien Travel Permit as the route of Everest Base Camp is very inaccessible and restricted areas.
• Also a written permission from the Chinese government.
• It is also better to keep the passport along with you.

In case you are traveling to South Base Camp in Kathmandu, you need to have the following documents:
• Written approval from Nepali government.
• Your own Nepal tourist visa.
• Passport should be positively kept handy.
• Two passports sized pictures in case of any needs.
• Copy of the first page of your passport.
>> Check What Documents Do I Need for Everest Base Camp Tour in Tibet and Nepal?

Best Time to Travel

The best time to travel both the North Base Camp and the South Base Camp is during the spring and autumn that ranges from April to May and then from mid-June to September. The South Base Camp is also suitable to visit during the months from September to October. During this time, the weather remains clear and comparatively less cold. The visibility is perfect for people visiting the place for photographic expeditions. The sky remains blue and clear and the fog is not there. Also, the road conditions remain good owing to the clear weather. For these, you might have to carry fewer numbers of woolen clothes as a woolen flannel and a woolen jacket will be enough. Still, for precaution take one or two more and positively carry waterproof clothing.

Must-Visit Attractions in Tibet Everest Base Camp Tour

Lhasa
As your journey will begin from Lhasa, the capital city of Tibet, you have to stay there for acclimatizing your body. At the same time, you can spend some time visiting the greatest tourist attractions in Lhasa. Potala Palace, regarded as the landmark of Tibet, you will always bath in the strong Tibetan Buddhist cultural atmosphere. Strolling on Barkhor Street which is a popular devotional circumambulation for pilgrims and locals is quite relaxing. And Jokhang Monastery lies on this street, which is considered the "spiritual heart of the city" and the most sacred in Tibet. Here you can have a deep awareness of the meaning of religion. Besides, the "great three" Gelug university monasteries of Tibet - Ganden Monastery, Sera Monastery and Drepung Monastery also will be included on tour. It is absolutely a golden opportunity to help tourists understand Tibetan Culture and Buddhism.

Jokhang MonasteryJokhang Monastery is full of Tibetan Buddhist charm

From Lhasa to Shigatse, via Gyantse
You will come across many attractions from Lhasa to Shigatse. The first of them is the holy lake of Tibet, the beautiful Yamdrok-so with clear blue water. Then Mount Nyenchen Khangsar, surrounding the lake, like an ever cautious guard. However, just a glimpse of these will be experienced. There will also be Karola Glacier and Simila Mountain pass on the way. In the Simila Mountain Pass, you will find many prayer flags hung. Then when you arrive in Gyantse, you will come across Gyantse Kumbum, the immense stupa like structure, the ruined Gyantse Fort, and Pelkor Monastery. After that, when you reach Shigatse, you will get to see the Barley Mill and the Barley Field. Certainly, the famous Tashilhunpo Monastery should not be missed, the full name in Tibetan means "all fortune and happiness gathered here" or "heap of glory", plays an important role in Tibetan Buddhism.

From Shigatse to EBC
You will come across the three famous passes namely Tsola Pass, Gyatsola pass and Gawula Pass. Tourists will have the first chance to view the Mount Everest and take some cherished photos of the distant summit. Rongbuk monastery will be a part of your journey. As long as you catch the glimpse of Rongbuk Monastery, Everest Base Camp just is 4 kilometers away from you.

Must-Visit Attractions in Nepal Everest Base Camp Tour

Kathmandu
The capital city of Nepal, your journey will begin in Kathmandu. You can pay a visit to some famous Kathmandu's religious sites such as Pashupatinath - considered one of the sacred temples of Hindu faith; Swayambhunath - one of the most ancient Buddhist heritages in Asia; Boudhanath one of the largest stupas in the world; and Budhanilkantha - the temple's main statue of Budhanilkantha is regarded as the largest stone carving in Nepal. Before leaving from Kathmandu to Lukla, you can spend an excellent trip here.

From Lukla to Phakding
When arriving in Lukla, you will start your trekking tour. The trip to Phakding, you will come to the Khumbu region of Himalayas. Also, you will come across the prayer walls with inscriptions on them. Phakding is a small village, lies in the Dudh Kosi river valley just north of Lukla, which is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will encounter some massive black boulders emblazoned with the mantra of Avalokiteshvara in huge white letters, called mani stone.

Sagamartha National ParkThere is the abundance of flora and fauna in Sagamartha National Park

From Phakding to Namche Bazaar
On the way, you will enjoy the beautiful alpine scenery, glimpsing spectacular views of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6608m), crossing the Dudh Kosi, and then arrive the Sagamartha National Park. It is a protected area in the Himalayas of eastern Nepal which has been identified as an important bird area by BirdLife International and is involved in the Sacred Himalayan Landscape. Besides, the park contains the upper catchment areas of the Dudh Kosi river, Bhotekoshi river basin and the Gokyo Lakes, therefore, here the ecological environment, biological diversity, vegetation will lead tourists to the natural world. Namche Bazaar is another very famous attraction on the way to EBC, which is popular with trekkers, especially for altitude acclimatization. A weekly Sherpa market is held in the center of the village on Saturday mornings. Also, there may be a daily Tibetan market to sell clothing and cheap Chinese consumer goods.

From Namche Bazaar to Everest Base Camp
You will come across the several passes and monasteries on the way like Nangpa La pass, Thami Monastery, Tengboche Monastery, the lovely village of Khumjung and finally the stunning peak of Ama Dablam in Dingboche. Also try to view the famous mountain peaks like Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Makalu. Then finally you will come across the famous Kala Patthar summit and the Khumbu Glacier in Lobuje. From here you have to make your journey to EBC.

Dining and Accommodations in EBC

In the Everest Base Camp in Nepal, the accommodations are very well developed as it has been the very famous route to Mount Everest for many years. This route is also known as “tea-house trekking route”, where you will find either a teahouse or a village at a small distance. There are many places where you can enjoy your meals and overnight. Meals are good, solid food at a very reasonable price at Lukla, and Phakding has enough hotels to accommodate everyone. There are a number of lodgings and stores catering to the needs of visitors as well as a number of internet cafés at Namche Bazaar. So accommodation is not all a problem here. Otherwise, you might even carry your ingredients and cook at the campsite itself. You can learn more details about dining and accommodation in EBC in Nepal in order to plan a brilliant EBC tour.

In Tibet, the route does not abound in either villages or tea-houses. However, you will get to see the home tents along the side of the route. However the hygiene in these tents is questionable. The tents are nonetheless very cozy. So if you can carry your ingredients, you can stay in these tents. Otherwise, the hotels are located at Tingri. Also, Rongbuk Monastery serves a very good accommodation site but then again it is not exactly near the EBC site. Certainly, if you want to stay in a hotel equipped with good living facilities, staying in Shigatse is an alternative option. In actual fact, when being immersed in picturesque landscapes and glorious religious culture, you will not care about whether the hotels or meals are good or not. There are many restaurants and hotels along the way to EBC that can be available in Tibet.

Lobsang Tsering

About the Author - Lobsang Tsering

I am a tour guide in Tibet an was Born in Kham Tibet, I am the father of 2 little girls, bachelor's degree. I have more than 7-years experience of being a tour guide in Tibet. I am a warm, friendly, knowledgeable and attractive guy.

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